What, we don't have any readers here with a toyota prius?
I know a couple of prius owners and they're not willing to do a full-
throttle shift-to-neutral test on their cars.
I really want to see if the stuff I've been reading about the computer
not letting the transmission shift into neutral to protect the engine
On Mar 11, 9:43 am, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
Almosst certainly _not_ true but it would be nice to have an official
No need for the Prius owners to do a full throttle test, just driving
normally is good enough. The claim from the "speculators" is that
they cannot be shifted while moving.
Of course when it is proven that they can be shifted while moving they
will then claim "but can it be done on the 5th Tuesday of a month"
Yes, I think we all would like to see a link to any credible source.
All I've seen is:
A - speculation from various individuals that it might be possible
that some of the Toyotas can't be shifted into neutral under runaway
B - some of the people driving the runaway cars have claimed they
could not shift them into neutral
C - Toyota has said at least on the Lexus that they can be shifted
into neutral at any time. They may have also said it about more cars
than the Lexus, not sure about that.
If there were an intentionally designed system to prevent shifting
into neutral while moving, I would think there is a 99% chance we
would have heard about it by now.
On Fri, 12 Mar 2010 05:43:31 -0800 (PST), email@example.com wrote:
We are discussing cars that are malfunctioning. Perhaps not being able
to shift into neutral is connected to the malfunction in some way. Or,
perhaps not. You can't rule it out without correctly and completely
diagnosing what is causing the runaway problem.
I'm also not sure how many people, in the midst of a crisis, would be
quick to assume that turning off the key would NOT lock the steering
and make things worse.
On Mar 12, 8:56 am, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
I agree 100%. I've said several times in the various threads here
that you need a thorough independent investigation of the cars
involved which includes looking at how the transmissions are designed
and also analyzing the actual transmissions. An investigation similar
to what the NTSB does for an airplane crash.
But what I was responding to here was someone making a post saying
that they had scene reports that the transmissions were actually
designed so that they could not be shifted into neutral while
moving. I have surely haven't seen that and would like to see a link
if the person has it.
On another note, I read an article yesterday that said attributed the
fatal Lexus crash with the CA partrol officer driving to a stuck
floormat. That's the first and only time I've seen a cause listed,
so not sure as to the accuracy.
Yes, that could be a factor. BUT, the longer these drives go on, the
less likely you would think that would be. The latest guy drove 20
miles. Surely in that time, a few things would happen. One would
be that you'd very likely have a straight section of highway and/or a
section where you had some space off to the sides, etc. So, if you
shut it off and the steering wheel did lock, it would still seem to be
a far preferable choice to just continuing to ride along out of
control not knowing what was up ahead. Even if the wheel locked, by
applying the brakes, you'd very likely stop before having a fatal
crash. That choice sure looks good to me compared with just going
along out of control.
On Mar 12, 7:28 am, email@example.com wrote:
Same here. I mentally tried to come up with a scenario where
continuing to runaway would be better than shutting off the engine
even it it locked the steering. Can't do it.
On a side note, I tried the 'shut off engine' and 'lock the wheel
without removing key' in my Ford 500. No problem shifting to nuetral
or shutting it off under fairly hard acceleration. The locking
without removing key? Dunno. The steering was so stiff at a stop
that I couldn't turn the wheel far enough to tell if it was locked.
On Mar 12, 10:28 am, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
There are several instances of this being stated on answers.yahoo.com:
...to name a few.
Yes, I know that's not exactly an authoratative source of information
but it's the best I can find. I tend to give some credence to
consistent intelligent-sounding responses. I take them with fewer
grains of salt.
On Mar 12, 11:03 am, email@example.com wrote:
Good grief. Not exactly an authoratative source? In yahoo answers
anyone can post anything. Those threads are nothing but pure
speculation without a single reference to any credible source of
info. And besides that, it simply makes no sense. Why the hell
would anyone purposefully design a tranny so that it could not be
shifted into neutral while driving? Engines today with electronic
controls have rev limiters that would prevent the engine from over
revving. Plus, I don't recall hearing reports about cars blowing up
all over the place because they can be put into neutral. What about
all the manual tranny cars?
On Mar 12, 11:19 am, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
Here's the latest news on the San Diego runaway Prius guy, from Fox:
On Monday, James Sikes called 911 to report that he was behind the
wheel of an out-of-control Toyota Prius going 94 mph on a freeway near
San Diego. Twenty-three minutes later, a California Highway Patrol
officer helped guide him to a stop, a rescue that was captured on
Since then, it's been learned that:
Sikes filed for bankruptcy in San Diego in 2008. According to
documents, he was more than $700,000 in debt and roughly five months
behind in payments on his Prius;
In 2001, Sikes filed a police report with the Merced County
Sheriff's Department for $58,000 in stolen property, including
jewelry, a digital video camera and equipment and $24,000 in cash;
Sikes has hired a law firm, though it has indicated he has no plans
to sue Toyota;
Sikes won $55,000 on television's "The Big Spin" in 2006, Fox40.com
reports, and the real estate agent has boasted of celebrity clients
such as Constance Ramos of "Extreme Home Makeover.
I heard that too. But of course that is what the sheriff in the
Balloon Boy case said at first too. The more I hear, the more
suspicious it sounds. Fox News did a good job investigating his
background. With a bankruptcy for $700K a year ago, no payments on
the Prius for several months, it looks more likely a hoax to me.
On Fri, 12 Mar 2010 07:28:30 -0800 (PST), email@example.com wrote:
That was given as the cause the day afeter the crash It had a winter
floormat from a fifferent model installed OVER TOP OF the original
equipment floor mat. It did not fit right, even if it had been
installed the way it was supposed to be (which is with no other
floor-mat underneath it)
On Fri, 12 Mar 2010 08:56:20 -0500, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
Everone is looking for an electrical or electronic boogeyman to blame
- and I can tell you, absolutely and without any doubt, there is NO
electrical or electronic failure that could POSSIBLY make it
impossible to shift the vehicle to neutral, as the neutral control is
STRICTLY MECHANICAL. No need to diagnose what caused the runaway
problem, because there can be NO inter-related issues.
On Mar 12, 5:08 pm, email@example.com wrote:
Excuse me if I doubt that you have the personal experience with the
design of every model of Toyota made over the last 7 years to be able
to make that blanket statement. It may have a high probability of
being true, but clearly you are over reaching here and just discredit
Yes there is.. Because cars are not supposed to just randomly go to
full throttle by themselves. Whether it's because of sticking floor
mats, sticking throttles or an electronic problem, the root cause
needs to be found so that these cars can be fixed and the potentially
fatal problem avoided in future automobiles. Would you just sweep an
airline crash under the carpet too?
On Fri, 12 Mar 2010 14:55:41 -0800 (PST), firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
I didn't say there was no reason to diagnose the failure. I said there
is no reason to diagnose the failure to determine if any possible
electrical fault could keep the vehicle from being shifted to neutral.
There IS one transmission I am not 100% sure about - and that is the
CVT. This is only used on the Hybrids (on toyota it is still a
planetary system but has 2 motor-generator sets in it - the planetary
is a "power splitter". It may not have a mechanical linkage. However,
shutting off both motor-generators puts it in neutral. The electrical
circuit for dissabling the electric motor-generators is apparently not
controlled by the computer to meet the requirements of the law that
the motor can be disconnected from the drivetrain at any time, under
Since I don't know THAT system intimately I need to take the vidence
of an expert.
Jake Fisher, an automotive engineer for Consumer Reports, said the
Toyota hybrid has a pretty funny shifter.
Neutral can be hard to find for those who never use the gear.
Nonetheless, Fisher said the tests he has done on cars show that all
engines, be they hybrid or conventional, become disengaged from the
drive line when they are put into neutral.
"No matter what the situation or what the car was," he said, "if you
just put the car into neutral you can safely and easily stop the
for actual demonstration of a prius at speed.
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